Two Wheels Risk
The Raya holiday is just over and the Deepavali holidays has just started. The 'balik kampung' keeps building up as Christmas comes around the corner. We hear the authorities increasing their 'enforcement' activities be it the Police or the Road Transport Department. But the statistics of accidents are not becoming less and less. Most of the fatalities involve the poor motorcyclists. Recently a young friend of mine was involved in a hit and run accident. His name was Augustine Adit, 19 years old of age. He almost bled to death if not for the passing motorists who rushed him to the Sarawak General Hospital.
I know its hard for road users to understand what risks one has to take when they choose to use the motorbike as a mode of transport. Those driving the car or larger vehicles need to understand the motocylist's perspective. I know my wife keeps complaining how some motorcyclists ride as if they own the road. Being a two wheeler myself during my earlier years as an undergraduate I understand what goes in a motorcyclist's head. I went through that again when I had to look for another mode of transport after I was involved in a small accident months back accident. My car was in the 'dock' for a few weeks. Yup... the mechanic had promised that the car would be repaired within two to three days. Yeah rite....his two to three days must have been the Planet Uranus's time.
Try not be adventurous or impatient especially at the traffic lights. I came across many motorcyclists who acted as if the traffic lights do not exist. They go before the light turns green or speed up when the light turns orange. Its as if their behaviour is affected by the light.
Motorcylists are subjected to the toll at the Tanah Puteh toll bridge. Its a new experience - so try to wait patiently in the long queue as only one lane is dedicated to motorcyclists
There are many plus points when using this small bike. The first one is of course the flexibility it has on the road - especially if you are caught in a traffic jam. Weaving through the road with the skill of a ice skater is a much needed skill.
The advantage a motorcyclist has during busy traffic is its maneuverability - where the cars get stuck in the jam, the motorcycle can jump the queue and use the other lane - but that is advisable only if the other side is clear
RM4 - RM5 for a full tank and RM10 can last a week or more. It can help you save up for the next round of beer?
Disadvantages (& Risks)
However there are many disadvantages to using the motorcycle. I had listed so many of them that by the second week of using it my wife had banned me from riding the bike. Luckily my car was completely repaired (after much pestering) by that time. Amongst the prominent ones in my list are:
- The weather (heavy rain will really spoil a motorcyclist's day and increase the risk of accidents as vision will be impaired)
- Unseen potholes at night (those potholes the size of a manhole especially at night when you don't see it coming or its unavoidable)
- Insects and other creatures (try riding a motorbike at 80 km per hour into a swarm of mosquitoes and flies. If you do not have a full face visor it can be blinding. Sometimes the dogs and cats that cross the road to commit suicide can pose a hazard as the impact can still send you flying onto the road)
- Drunk drivers and motorcyclists (the majority of drivers that can be found driving on the road after 2 a.m in the morning belong to these pub hopping group)
- ecetra ecetra - actually there are many more in my list but alas I don't think it will help anyone as we see them on television most of the time.
When riding a bike, make sure you fully concentrate on the road and vehicles in front of you, lest you will hit something unpleasant.Sometimes motorcylists claim to enjoy free air condition with the free air flow they get - it really depends. The vehicle above not only provided some unusual aroma but the 'missiles' from the swinging and bouncing lorry are 'risky' too
In summary, I would say that if anyone wishes to use the two wheelie as an alternative transport, take all the necessary precautions. They have to have that extra sixth sense to increase their chance of survival. On top of that there is an extra need for the road users of both mode of transport to understand one another - be it the drivers behind the car, lorries or bus or the motorcyclists. But all of us know that I guess so I will spare the bla bla blabbering. But why do the statistics show otherwise?
Recc (with cap) poses with Augustine
Augustine is already up and about now but he needs some aid in moving about. The last visit by the rumapanjai.com community forum members saw him in high spirit. I wish him all the best and pray for his speedy recovery.